Jason L
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Compost question

Would mixing in stuff that would go into a compost pile into the garden at the end of the season be the same as composting? I want to compost but the people I share the house with are not willing to work with me in that regard. Last year I used my blower vac to blow my leaves into a pile during the fall and then vacuumed them up. Which basically shreds them into lots of tiny pieces. After all the leaves fell and were gathered up this way I mixed them into the garden using the tiller. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have the gas powered tiller to use going forward. Thanks for any help and advice.

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GardeningCook
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Re: Compost question

While I've laid horse manure over fallow garden beds in the Fall & allowed it to "compost" naturally for a good six months or more before turning it under, trying to do the same thing with kitchen scraps would most likely attract a lot of unpleasant pests. Those sorts of items would have to be buried in a pile, as in composted traditionally. Do you really need your housemates help/approval to compost?
Last edited by GardeningCook on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

We do co-own the home so it is a courtesy to each other to consult each other in terms of household related things like this and come to a mutual decision. Kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and such would need cooperation to be placed in a bin or pile. And without cooperation of placing such items in or approval of having the bin or pile would I fear just cause problems. I'm wondering if there perhaps is a middle ground that can be reached. Any ideas?

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Allyn
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Re: Compost question

Are your housemates reluctant to use a countertop compost bin/can to throw kitchen scraps into if you do the duty of taking it to the outside bin to empty it? Therre are some nice-looking counter bins that have filters in them so they don't stink up the house. An outside tumbler can -- metal or plastic -- can be used outside to contain the compost so it isn't unsightly. Might that be agreeable?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

what you are talking about is basically trench composting. See https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 35&t=63703

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ng#p325439

Lots of people do it. I haven't tried it and I have wondered about the critters. I have lots of raccoons and many other critters around my yard. If my compost pile/ bin does not have a lid on it, they will get into that, eat the scraps out of it and strew stuff around. If I plant things with fresh compost (not entirely broken down) or fish emulsion in the planting hole, they will dig up the plant to get to it. So why wouldn't they dig up what is in the trench? (I never put meat in my compost, doesn't matter, critters still love the kitchen scraps.) I guess the answer is making a pretty deep trench. Put leaves and stuff on top of the kitchen scraps and bury the whole thing well.

What is your house mates objection to having a compost bin/ pile? Perhaps you can educate them more and obtain permission. Smell? There is NONE in a properly put together compost pile. Aesthetics? They do not have to be ugly. I have one that is just a wire grid cube. Since I use fall leaves for my "browns" and add a layer of leaves after every layer of green stuff, the bin mostly looks like a square pile of leaves. But they can be made as attractive as you want:

Image

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 ... de5d7a.jpg

Image

Image

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they don't have to take up a lot of yard space

Image
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

The objections were pretty much everything you guys mentioned. I countered all the objections with not if done right and if a nice looking bin is used etc. But still it was objected to. The counter offer was go out and buy the compost every year. But that seems counter productive to me. The idea of growing the vegetables I do is to save money. So I don't know what to do. To me it isn't a big deal and is as simple as throwing stuff in the trash but instead putting it to good use. My general impression is no matter what I say I'll get stonewalled. Which is why I was hoping perhaps there was some middle ground where it isn't compost but is kind of thing if you get what I'm thinking.

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Re: Compost question

If your housemates don't garden it can be a problem. It would help if they were interested.

Pit composting might be the most aesthetic way to go.

One people don't like to see piles of waste collecting in the kitchen or pails because they smell and attract critters. If you don't have a lot to bury on a daily basis, bag it and freeze it if you have freezer space. It won't smell and as long as the freezer space is not a premium it will work. When you have enough to make it worthwhile put it in the pit.

Pit composting out of sight. You would put your pit in your fallow plot. dig a hole and slowly fill it in with the scraps. If you have things that will dig it up, you may need to dig a deeper hole. Freezing actually helps break some of the greens down so it decomposes faster. Add a little of the soil you took out to cover and put in some browns and cover with a board, so no one falls in the pit. If you have creatures that like to dig holes, put something heavy over the board. Keep the rest of the bed mulched to keep weeds down and so it looks nicer. Mulch over the board so they don't see the board. When the pit is full, dig another one in another part of the bed. Next growing season switch, plant your veggies in the composted bed and start pit composting the other one.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

Oh this might work. Could I use the walk ways of my garden as the pits? I'll have to find something to cover the pit(s).

imafan26
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Re: Compost question

Compost sinks and you want walkways firm. you would alternate the beds on either side of the walkway for the pit and the fallow bed.

I just use a sheet of plywood or plywood scrap. Sometimes at the hardware store they have pieces of scraps from cut pieces, a table round or I can buy a a 2ft x 4 ft sheet of ply board instead of a full sheet which would not fit in my car anyway. If you know construction people or hang out around construction sites sometimes you can pick up scarps that they might otherwise throw away. Pallets are often free for the asking at industrial parks. You can use them as is or take them apart and use the wood to build a cover. I have even used an old metal garbage can lid. I go to the convenience center to drop off weeds and sometimes I one man's trash is another's treasure. I asked someone for a 5 gallon bucket with a broken handle they were going to throw away. It is perfectly good for planting a pepper and I have picked up other buckets I used for weeds.
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Re: Compost question

Ha I just answered JamesL's weeding question with a similar solution using yard waste and was wondering if this thread was going to create a conflict because he wants to compost and I just told him to use the ingredients as mulch. :lol:

I'd say just bury the scraps under the cardboard and mulch but if you have a trench in the walkway covered with plywood, covered with mulch, that would serve as well.

Personally, I would look into how plywood is constructed and consider the pressure treated/exterior plywood issues first though. Scrap lumber of all kinds are not that hard to come by.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

For collecting the kitchen scraps, I use a 2 gallon bucket with a tight lid like laundry products and kitty litter come from, and keep it under the sink. As long as the lid is on tight, there is no smell and it is convenient. When it is starting to get full or to get unpleasant to open the lid, I take it out and dump it on the compost pile and cover it with fall leaves or straw or paper. I keep at least a couple buckets around so that one can be airing out, while the other is being used.

This also can be done aesthetically if you want:

Image

this one has air holes, but has charcoal filters in the lid. Things like this come in all kinds of designs and materials, including enameled metal and stainless steel.

But you are right, having compost for your garden is great (and your homemade compost is way better than some substance made from mystery ingredients that has been sitting in bags dying for who knows how long), but it is only half of the reason for composting. The other half is to keep all those kitchen scraps, garden trimmings, weeds, etc out of the waste stream. Why add stuff that could be gold for your garden to the landfill problem?
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Re: Compost question

Jason L -

Obviously the co-operation of your housemates is essential to the success of your compost project. Do they respect the rewards of your garden (do they like vegetables)?

Do they help you with the gardening? Perhaps you could engage them in the process (harvesting is always fun).

All things come at a cost. You are right that it is wasteful to bag up and help top off the landfill with the leaves and household scraps from your kitchen. The trees send roots deep into the earth and drop their waste (mineral, nutrient rich leaves at your feet) each fall. To trash them and then go out and buy 'compost' and fertilizers is not only wasteful, it is absurd.

As to trench composting under garden pathways, I have been doing this for several years. I don't use kitchen scraps, just a 2 to 1 blend of leaves and grass clippings. At either the end of or the beginning of the season, I lift up the boards, dig up and spread out the composted material and then refill and replace the boards until next season. There might be a little instability to the boards at times, but nothing that would knock me off my feet. The fact that the boards are walked on consistantly keeps things pretty evened out.

I would avoid any painted or pressure treated wood. I don't know if the adhesives and chemicals in plywood are food safe, but just like the formaldihyde in particale board, I would avoid them. I use some found 2 x 6 boards that work well.

As you said - 'Last year I used my blower vac to blow my leaves into a pile during the fall and then vacuumed them up. Which basically shreds them into lots of tiny pieces' This obviously excelerates the composting process.

In the same light, I take my kitchen scraps to the food processor and make a nice ground mush of it all. With my open-pile compost in a well wooded (and animal friendly) neighborhood, this works well to keep the deer, racoons, dogs, rats and others at bay.

Much depends on how 'manicured' your property and neighbood is. Bins are good (lids are essential) but are not as easy to manage as open piles in my experience. But keeping housemates and neighbors happy is very important. Baby steps.

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Re: Compost question

Looks like there are several ways to go to help keep things tidy and workable.

Trench composting is nothing new, and just a method to work with kitchen scraps and help the garden soil. One can dig a narrow trench down side or middle or across (whatever!) garden. Just dig a few feet out. Daily dump your kitchen scraps, cover with that dirt piled on side, and just keep working down the trench. Just dig trench out a few feet at a time, and keep working it around your garden. You still need a proper bowl on the counter, and can be creative in looks and function. A 2 qt one big enough. Put coffee grounds with filter, tea bags, peels, stems, egg shells etc in it, take out daily. When you pick produce and have extra peels and stems, and rottie pieces, set up an extra bowl while processing, and then dump. Not rocket science!

Another option is a compost tumbler. I got the small one from Mantis this winter. Again, take stuff out daily, give it a turn. I'm still on my first go around with mine, and think I got heavy with browns (I just throw in handfuls of leaves still around from fall).

If you work both a tumbler and the trench, can easily work 12 months, rain and snow.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

Well it looks like we have a solution. I can obtain scrap wood from somewhere here in town I'm sure to provide a cover to the walkways to compost in trenches in them. The big bucket with lid for scraps may be a solution to get cooperation on the inside of the house. I believe the out of site farthest away from the house where the garden is under the walkways of the garden has convinced that it's not a negative thing to have. I'll see tomorrow on how the bucket inside the house goes over. There appears to be some overlap for grass clippings with my weed thread. If I use dried grass clippings for mulch can those be tilled under at the end of the season into the garden and benefit like if they were compost?


EDIT: I should add that I have a couple fertilizers I bought last year that I didn't use this year. Should I use them too or will composting result in keeping thet nutrients I need year to year? I also asked about them in the weed thread since now these two seem to be on a parallel course of relationship.

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Re: Compost question

Jason L -

Sounds like you are coming to a solution. Bravo.

Re: grass clippings; if you do a quick search in this forum for balancing 'greens and browns', there's a lot of good posts that will help you keep a healthy compost. Good luck.

Jason L
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Re: Compost question

I just ran into a problem and I didn't think about it until my dad reminded me when we were talking about our gardens. The lawns at mine and his houses are chemically treated. So it is probably a bad idea to use it. My uncle, now no longer with us, was an avid gardener. According to my dad he refused to take grass cut from lawns that were chemically treated for use in his garden.

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Re: Compost question

Yup - it's not a good idea to use chemically-treated lawn clippings in compost.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

Should I go ahead and start collecting kitchen scraps now and combine them with dried leaves in the fall? We usually have tea bags, potato peels, scraps from green leaf and romaine, banana peels, apple peels, melon rinds, grapes (the wrinkly ones that tend to taste yucky), tomato skins from canning, and rare occasions fruit and veggies that started to go bad and no longer edible. Typically only one cup of coffee is made almost every morning in a single cup k cup machine using a reusable coffee filter and folgers coffee. I could have the used grounds saved in an empty folgers coffee container keeping the lid on it until it's relatively full. I'm told if you let the used grounds sit around they will mold. Is that true and should I be concerned if they do?

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Re: Compost question

Why can't you start composting now? Did I miss something?

Kitchen scraps need to go outside within approx 3-5 days max. depending on temperature and how they are kept. Dedicated folks take them out daily. Some people freeze the scraps to prevent spoilage, and then take them out.

Coffee grounds is extremely mold-susceptible. White-green mold most of the time. Occasionally I get mushroom like colony in the old K-cup which I personally think is interesring..... I collect the ones DH and I use and empty them, but some K-cups are impossible to open easily. I only buy the easy to tear open ones. For myself, I also use Eco-cup reusables. They are easier to empty after drying for a day.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

I can start now I just wasn't sure if I would be doing something wrong only having kitchen scraps until fall clean up. As I won't have dried leaves until then. Which around here is typically early November.

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applestar
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Re: Compost question

No, you do need to combine with BROWNS but there are all kinds of BROWNS not just fall leaves.

I save the kitchen scraps for compost in "compost bag" which is grocery store paper bag lined plastic bag, with paper pulp egg carton or fast food beverage carrier in the bottom for air space and to absorb excess moisture. While not decorative, this lasts (doesn't get stinky or moldy) for a few days because it's not overly wet, not tightly enclosed -- and it is easier to toss stuff in for everybody involved. (On the opposite end of the process, I can't handle putting stinky moldy compost ingredients in the compost pile).

"Compost Bag" is used for all kitchen scraps including nut shells, paper coffee filters and teabags, used and grease stained papers like pizza boxes that can't be put in paper recycling, mixed with all used paper towels and napkins, discarded paper bags, paper towel core and other mostly unprinted cardboard, occasional "deemed safe" printed paper, etc. So there are already a fair amount of "BROWNS" in there. During the winter, overwintering-in-the-house plants shed leaves and clippings, too.

(FWIW, I tried to install an under cabinet trash bin drawer to keep the Compost Bag out-of-sight, but my family is too used to the convenience of having the bag out in the open. :roll: :| )

Toilet paper cores are saved separately in the bathrooms but I put them in the compost pile, and that bag also gets other scraps of household (non glossy) "deemed safe" paper waste -- things like natural tooth paste cardboard box, etc., trimmed hair.... So this bag is the main receptacle for the rest of the dry household BROWN compost ingredients.

Once they go out to be put in the compost pile, I add yard waste greens and browns so they even out to more-or-less correct ratio.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

Do read the stickies at the top of this Composting Forum. A ton of good information for getting started composting. There's composting 101 and composting basics and then there's one that's a list of green and brown ingredients for your pile, to give you more ideas, if you are looking for more browns now or more greens in winter.

I do keep my compost pile going all year round. If it is really too cold and snowy in winter for me to trek back to the compost pile, I just put the full bucket out on the screened porch (where critters can't get to it - the lids are tight fitting and I don't think they could open them, but you never know about those raccoons) and let it freeze and bring in a clean one. When the weather breaks, I dump it. The stuff in the pile breaks down slowly due to freeze - thaw action and then the pile starts working again when it warms up.

I agree with Applestar. You can save dry browns. I collect lots of bags of leaves in the fall (pick up what people put out at the curb) and save them and use them up over a period of months. You can NOT save wet greens like kitchen scraps, short of freezing them and this time of year, that would mean using up space in your freezer, that you have better uses for. And you can NOT make a pile just of kitchen scraps. But you can keep adding the kitchen scraps to the pile with what ever other dry "browns" you can find. My work shreds documents, so I can bring home big bags of shredded paper (or I could - I will be going in soon for my last day ever, as I have retired! :D ). If you read newspapers or the kind of grocery store magazines that are printed on newsprint, those can be torn in pieces (doesn't have to be small, note paper size is ok) and added. Get creative and keep composting! :)
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Re: Compost question

Jason, Suggestion # umpteen.
Today, evening, take out bowl of scraps to garden. Dig small hole with shovel or hand trowel anywhere spare digging up plant. Put scraps in, cover with dirt. (I don't like pathways as they are compacted, and not so good for worm friends)
Tomorrow. Repeat, in different place.

Repeat, daily.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

Got it, so I need to check the browns and see what I have to add to the kitchen scraps. That was the part I wasn't sure on. I wasn't sure if the ratio thing was a gather this now add that quite some time later. Ok browns I would have regularly are: toilet paper tubes (about a dozen a month), egg shells (a couple dozen a month), dryer lint (almost all cotton clothing can that be used), and leaves (during the fall). In the winter we would have ash from the fireplace. I don't understand how to calculate the ratio. I was finding the common denominator and adding the fractions but coming up with different numbers that in the 101 guide. So there must be a formula or something I'm not picturing to come to the over all ratio. All can figure is if most of my browns is paper it's going to take a ton of greens to balance that.

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Re: Compost question

Egg shells are calcium and good in the compost, but I don't think they count as "browns." Browns need to be high Carbon; that is what balances the Nitrogen. I think wood ash is also not a brown. The wood was a brown before it was burned, but most of the carbon burned up and now it is mainly potassium (potash). It is good in your compost pile in small amounts. But it is quite alkaline. Some people with acid soils add lime every year to raise pH ("sweeten" the soil). If you are one of those, then you can be more generous with the wood ash as it will accomplish the same. If like me, you have alkaline soil, you have to be pretty wary of wood ash. I see that you got these from the list in the first page of the green/ brown stickie, but unfortunately, I think those are wrong. Sawdust is a good choice though, if you have access to that. Corn cobs. When I run out of last year's fall leaves in the summer, I buy a bale of straw from the local feed store. Cheap and lasts a long time!

You can over think all this. In general, if you have roughly equal VOLUMES (not weights) of browns and greens, you are fine. My compost pile tends to be somewhat higher in browns in the winter and somewhat higher in greens in the summer, but it all works ... I don't calculate anything.
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Re: Compost question

Good to know. I don't know the pH of my soil. is that something i can find out by doing something myself? So it looks like just toilet paper tubes and dryer lint are all I have right now until fall unless I overlooked something. I do have another question. Local grocery store is getting corn on the cob in and they have a lot of husks they just throw out on a daily basis. it isn't organic corn though. Is it ok to use that for compost? I could end up with dozens of gallons of corn husks in a single week. then I'd have to find the browns to add to it.

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Re: Compost question

Newspaper torn into strips is my source of browns at this time of year along with corrugated carbboard also torn up 1!
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applestar
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Re: Compost question

Do you have shrub trimmings? Do you prune anything? This time of the year, I have to deal with overgrown shrubs that I didn't realize were going to get that big after the spring growth spurt, some trees that get a bunch of watersprouts at the base, tall shrubs and trees that are overhanging the garden and casting too much shade, weedy Rose of Sharon spouted seedlings and saplings, etc. Their green leaves are not strictly brown but still have more carbon content than just herbaceous grass and weeds. And the thinner new growth branches are carbon/brown but break down fairly quickly.

I have an Arrowwood Viburnum shrub that really needs to be thinned and cut shorter in some cases, but a robin built a nest in it and is currently sitting on her eggs.... :|

I answered the corn husk/cob in compost in your mulch thread -- there is definitely an overlap --but essentially "yes" to using in compost pile.
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Re: Compost question

We are going to tear out the two shrubs we have, sooner than later. I could save them and grind em up. Other than that we just have trees in the yard witch in the fall we get a lot of leaves (several 30 gallon trash cans full of shredded by blower/vac) and some twigs and small branches from storms (used as kindling for the fireplace). I've been saving the weeds I've been pulling in a 5 gallon bucket in the garage. I'll ask the produce department to save the corn husks for me and get started with using them for both mulch and compost.

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Re: Compost question

Progress report: I have a two quart 10 inch round plastic food storage container under the sink. So far no objections to using it. I noticed stuff in there I didn't add to it. And a brown paper bag in the bathroom labeled toilet paper tubes. Which I found 4 tubes in there I didn't add to it. I dug a 2-3 foot deep hole about big around as slightly narrower than a lid of a 30 gallon trash can. And covered it with said lid and set a heavy brick on top of the lid in case of curious critters. I wasn't quite sure how to break up the one corn cob. It's too much for my expensive food processor to break apart. I hope I didn't dull the blade in the attempt to grind it up a bit. It chopped everything else up nice. I also have the 5 gallon bucket full of pulled weeds now. I keep missing the produce manager at the grocery store to ask about getting the corn husks from them. They throw them away as soon as the bag is full they have next to the corn display.

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Re: Compost question

If you want to break up the corn cob put on hard surface -- brick, cobblestone... slightly concave flat rock is best actually -- then smash with hammer or better yet with something larger headed like hand sledge or a handy rock. (I keep what I call "handy rock" -- a goose egg sized hard rock that fits nicely in hand, often with flat bottom-- in strategic places around the garden for when I don't feel like going back for hammer/sledge)
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Re: Compost question

You can break corn cobs in your hands if you're in reasonably good shape. I can get 3 pieces out of one before they get too small to get a grip on.

I've used grass clippings in the compost regardless of whether they are treated, as the typical herbicides will break down rapidly in the compost. I just wouldn't put them down on the garden as mulch, especially if the grass was sprayed with liquid chemicals (as opposed to granulated).
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Re: Compost question

We had dinner over my parents tonight. I have the rind from a half of a medium water melon and corn husks from 8 good sized ears of corn. My mom flipped out when I told her I wanted the rind for compost. She was saying it will stink and attract flies and you will get a ticket if a neighbor complains. And I was saying not if done right. I made a mistake though and thought corn cobs were greens and didn't save them. But seeing they are on the browns list I maybe should have saved them. So far I have one corn cob, 6 toilet paper tubes (cut up small), stem part of leaf lettuce leaves from 5 large salads, a very few berries that molded, skin of one apple, and coffee grounds from 6 k-cup single portion sized servings. I want to confirm dryer lint from mostly cotton clothing, I can use that for compost right? And if so it is a brown right? I have about 3 quarts of it fluffy as it is in the lint basket. If I stuffed it in a 2 quart pitcher it might hold it all.

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applestar
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Re: Compost question

Good work!

Yep corn cobs are great additions. If you are not too particular, you can even buy and add corncob bedding sold for pets. I had some left after the kids gerbils died -- got mine from the feedstore in a brown bag tied with jute string.

I prefer all cotton, but yes. Natural fabric lint is brown and can be added -- don't use dryer sheets and fabric softener if you want to be organic. Not so nice chemicals in those with residues that remain on clothes (and lint).
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

The lint is blueish color at least it looks like that to me. Here is a picture of what most of it looks like. Except for that reddish part I don't think there is hardly any of it like that. Also I forgot to add in my last post I requested the produce department save me corn husks on friday. I'm out by the grocery store that day so hopefully they will save them like they said they would. The first batch I'm going to use as mulch then I can get more for compost. I still need to find materials to cover if I dig a trench down the two long walk ways in the garden. The hole I dug is in the cross way in the middle where I can step around it. Oh and the plastic trash can lid has a hole is in about 1/2 inch maybe 3/4 inch round Should I elevate the lid slightly using say half inch thick wood stakes or is that small hole on the top enough ventilation for a 2-3 foot deep by 2-3 foot diameter hole?
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Northern-Gardener
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Re: Compost question

Hi, you may have already come to a solution, but I will give my impute too :) I lived with many housemates at one time and we did save scraps for our garden. First, it was nicer to just place them in a coffee container (currently we use the folgers plastic containers). The best reason for saving the scraps is so you don't fill up your trash can with smelly foods and create a long standing stink in the house. I personally don't like the smell of 'leftovers' in the house either so I tend to empty the container I use into the compost pile about every 2-3 days and stir up the compost with a pitch fork. I then rinse the container bring inside and reuse. If it helps to use a 'pretty' container, by all means make it beautiful on the outside :) I suppose the winter months are the hardest for us Northerners I may just use a 5 gal pail this year and dump everything in it over the winter and leave outside. I don't really know any other options for the winter. Good luck!

toxcrusadr
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Re: Compost question

Whether to use fertilizer depends on how your plants are growing. But it sounds like you're trench composting in the aisles, which not only takes time but also isn't right up around the plants. So your plants may benefit from a little fertilizer. Just don't overdo - a handful goes a LONG way. My dear wife has actually killed plants by sprinkling granular fert around them too heavily and getting granules onto the leaves.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

I think we already discussed this earlier, but re: "My mom flipped out when I told her I wanted the rind for compost. She was saying it will stink and attract flies" : Your mom is just wrong. Sure if you just put your watermelon rind out on your patio and left it, that would be true. But mixed into a properly managed compost pile and covered with fall leaves or other "browns," there will be NO odor and you will not have flies buzzing around your compost pile.

I keep a 2 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid (laundry soap and kitty litter come in things like that) under the sink to keep compost scraps. It doesn't smell as long as the lid isn't opened. If left too long, the smell may knock you over when you open the lid! A coffee can I would have to empty every day, might not even be able to stuff all the scraps from one dinner for two into it. If you cook from scratch from your garden veggies, you create quite a bit of leftovers.

There have been times in winter when I didn't feel like trekking through snow to get to the compost pile. I stick the bucket out on the screened porch. No critters can get to it there and it just freezes. And I just start with a new bucket. When ever the weather breaks enough for me to feel like doing it, I empty all the buckets on the compost pile.
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Jason L
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Re: Compost question

The composting is going pretty good. All but the lint and ends of the corn stalks have decomposed into indistinguishable stuff. I have a lot of corn husks I didn't have time to use as mulch yet and I'm not sure at this point what to do with them. I believe they have started to decompose in the open plastic bag they are in. Should I proceed to compost them instead of using for mulch and get more for mulch? I only have half the garden covered with corn husks. Half of that other half will have almost nothing in it in a week or two as the leaf lettuce and romaine have completed their cycle. I will eat what I can of them and the rest will get composted. I planted too much of it as I anticipated not being the only one eating it and ended up being the only one eating it. Once I pull up those the only thing left on that end are the pepper plants around the outer edge and the onions and garlic. I'm guessing that they will remain in the ground until the end of the season. I am planning on using that area for compost. And maybe reserving a small area to attempt to grow some spinach and cilantro to be harvested just before the end of the season.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Compost question

My onions have already been pulled and my garlic should be now, I just haven't had any round tuits lately ( :) ). I'm a bit south of you, but still I wouldn't expect onions and garlic to stay in the ground all season. (I guess that depends some on varieties and when you planted.)

You still have plenty of time to plant more stuff in the freed up areas. You could plant beans, corn (if you have room) or summer squash now. Or you could wait just little while and plant cold weather stuff like lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli for fall crop.
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